President Biden signs $770 billion defense bill

President Joe Biden signed a nearly $770 billion defense bill into law on Monday, which includes an overhaul on sex assault crimes prosecution.The National Defense Authorization Act for military appropriations in the 2022 fiscal year includes $740 billion for the Department of Defense, which is $25 billion more than Biden’s budget request. It also includes $27.8 billion for  Department of Energy defense-related activities and another $378 million for other defense-related activities.

The bill includes funding to change how the military prosecutes sexual assault cases, along with other items, such as military construction, basic pay increase for troops, national security programs and intelligence programs, a brief White House statement shows.

The bill also specifically includes a 2.7% pay raise for troops, an independent commission to review the two-decade war in Afghanistan. Biden said in a White House statement: “The Act provides vital benefits and enhances access to justice for military personnel and their families,” Biden also said in the statement that “unfortunately,” certain sections of the legislation continue to bar the use of funds to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States or custody of certain foreign countries unless certain conditions are met. He added that these restrictions “constrain the flexibility of the executive branch with respect to its engagement in delicate negotiations with foreign countries over the potential transfer of detainees,” and urged Congress to eliminate the restrictions.

Editorial credit: BiksuTong / Shutterstock.com

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